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Can You Do Me A Favor?

Can you do me a favor?  Would you please sign my petition to become a delegate to this year’s Democratic National Convention?  I’m on a slate of eight delegates, who are pledged to Pete Buttigieg, and we need to collect at least 500 signatures from our area this month in order to qualify for the ballot.  (A little more on that below.)  If you are willing to sign, please meet me this weekend at either of these times and locations:

Saturday, January 11th from 2:00pm to 3:00pm at the Starbucks near Iona (726 North Avenue)

Sunday, January 12th from 11:00am to 12:00pm at the Starbucks in Wykagyl (1278 North Avenue)

As another option, you can drop by Alvin & Friends Restaurant (14 Memorial Highway) any time, where our same petition will be available.

In order to be eligible to sign, you must (a) live in the 16th Congressional District of New York, meaning that Eliot Engel is your Congressman, and (b) be registered to vote as a Democrat.

Signing the petition does not obligate you to vote for Pete Buttigieg or for anyone else.  It simply allows delegates like myself to qualify for the ballot, so that the democratic primary process can occur.  The New York primary will take place on April 28th — that’s when you have to choose a candidate.

Although our local delegate slate covers the whole Congressional District, I am proud to say that New Rochelle is very well-represented.  In addition to myself, the delegate slate includes New Rochelle residents Fabiola Brito-Briseno, Sharad Khemani, and Gwen Clayton (the co-owner of Alvin & Friends.)  The slate also includes Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who represents half of New Rochelle, and Michael Clain, the former Mayor of Pelham.

I’ve never before tried to collect signatures on a petition this way, so it’s a bit of an experiment, and I am counting on my friends to show up!  If you have a couple of minutes this weekend, I would really be grateful to see you.  Coffee’s on me.

Thank you!

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Food (and Drink) Blog: Diner Brew Co

My first four samples. Eight more on the way.

A terrific addition to our downtown, Diner Brew Co at 40 Division Street is New Rochelle’s first taproom, featuring “innovative ciders and award-winning beers.”

Our party of four sampled twelve different ciders and beers during a visit last week.  (Well, in truth, I sampled all twelve myself — we took a cab home.)  A really fun way to experience craft brews, most of which are produced locally by the Diner Brew Co team, founded by New Rochelle’s own Chris Sheldon.

There’s no kitchen at Diner Brew Co, but it’s super-easy to order a delivery from several nearby restaurants.  We ordered dinner from the Wooden Spoon down the street and happily ate our takeout at the bar, while also helping ourselves to multiple servings of the complimentary fresh popcorn.

There was a lively crowd when we visited, which is no surprise given the positive attention Diner Brew Co is receiving around the region, including this recent write-up in Westchester Magazine.

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City and County Team Up to Address Homelessness

City, County, and NRPD officials at today’s announcement

This afternoon, I joined regional and local colleagues to announce a partnership that embeds County mental health professionals with New Rochelle Police officers to address the difficult challenge of homelessness. Through this collaboration, City and County officials are better able to connect vulnerable individuals to support services in an effective, humane fashion — helping more people to overcome obstacles and enjoy stable, rewarding lives, even as we make New Rochelle as a whole more vibrant, attractive, and equitable.  This press release has more information.

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New Year, New Term, New Council

The newly-inaugurated City Council. Left to right: Martha Lopez, Al Tarantino, Yadira Ramos-Herbert, Noam Bramson, Ivar Hyden, Sara Kaye, Liz Fried

Congratulations to the new and returning members of the New Rochelle City Council, who were inaugurated together in a ceremony yesterday afternoon.  It is a pleasure and privilege to work alongside such talented and dedicated colleagues.  Looking forward to an exciting and productive 2020!

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Lou, Jared, and Barry — Thank You

A bittersweet final City Council meeting of the year (and term) last night, as we said good-bye to three long-serving colleagues.

I offer sincere thanks to Lou Trangucci, Jared Rice, and Barry Fertel for their partnership, friendship, and dedicated service to the people of New Rochelle.  We are a better, stronger community because of their efforts.  And I hope each will find joy and satisfaction in the next chapters of their lives.

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Calling All (Pete) Delegates!

I am very proud to back Pete Buttigieg for President.  If you share my enthusiasm for Pete, then please consider applying to be a Buttigieg delegate at next year’s Democratic National Convention.  It’s a rare and exciting opportunity to participate directly in the nomination of our next President.  Just fill out this form.

The Buttigieg campaign is also seeking volunteers to help collect signatures to put Pete on the New York ballot.  The primary is in April, but signature collection begins later this month.  If you are able to help out, there’s more information here.

I’ll be posting more about the Presidential race in the weeks ahead, as the New York primary gets closer.

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Not So Divided, After All

It is often said that New Rochelle is divided politically between north and south, but maybe it’s time to update that conventional wisdom.  The Board of Elections has just compiled the final, official results of the 2019 mayoral election, and they show a remarkable degree of uniformity across our supposed north-south dividing line*.  Here are the percentages of votes I received on the . . .

North Side: 62.8%

South Side: 62.9%

To be sure, New Rochelleans have wide-ranging opinions about politics and everything else, but these competing views exist within neighborhoods, as much as between neighborhoods.  And although there are statistical differences between north and south when it comes to land use and demographic characteristics, it turns out that folks all over town have similar priorities, values, and concerns.

New Rochelle is one city, more united than we sometimes realize, going up or down together, and we do ourselves a disservice by wrongly imagining sharper divisions than actually exist.

*  Defined here as roughly Mayflower Avenue and Iona College

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